Do you have a creative vision for developing small businesses?

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IMG-20150509-00488A man in Auckland, New Zealand, retired after 40 years in a timber manufacturing business and now together with his daughter has started The Village Market. The idea that Laurie Saunders and his daughter Jo Saunders came up with is to try reproduced traditional thousand-year-old village markets. They want potential customers to experience everything they including site smell and taste. Laurie believes that small markets is the way small businesses start out.

Essentially what Laurie is creating is an artisan hub with job opportunities for anyone who wants to start something of their own. The market will have temporary and permanent stalls and combined street food with crafts, fresh produce and live entertainment.

It’s amazing how this man and his daughter are also helping to reactivate an area in Auckland on their own to benefit small businesses, help them grow and give them a platform “to get going”. In these times when potential customers are weary and wary of mass-produced goods, the village market concept gives an opportunity to anyone who can come up with a new business idea to sell their products to like-minded people. The other advantage is that small businesses can hone their business skills in a supportive and friendly environment, learning the ropes that would help them down the road. Another great advantage of a Friday, Saturday or Sunday morning market is that it helps someone who has come up with a new business idea test their product or service in a real, life-like setting where they can obtain instant feedback. Such testing may not be scientific but it does come at a low-cost and helps you to shape and refining your product as you go along.

There is a downside to some village or morning markets and that is that they can charge higher entry fees or they raise their barriers to entry high such as some of the so-called “organic markets”. But if you are wanting to test your product or service perhaps you could look around in your local community and find a village market that is just starting out and actually needs small businesses, craftspeople and artisinal manufacturers to come on board. The other way around this is to speak to some of the stall owners and tried to find a compatible match we you can provide your product on one of the existing permanent or temporary stalls.

Village markets are just one way to test your new product idea. There are several other ways to test products and services at no cost and that will give you a fair idea of whether or not your product or service will succeed on a slightly larger scale. Would-be entrepreneurs sometimes go about starting their small enterprises the wrong way. They will tend to come up with a product or service, develop it and spend a fortune on marketing only to find out that customers don’t want the product or service. Small market tests even in the prototype stage will help refine your product and reduce costs.

If you are looking for a resource to help you come up with a new product or service, develop a prototype, test it in the market and prepare it for launch and implementation, put your name down for the forthcoming edition of “Breakthrough Ideas”, produced by someone who has run several small businesses, failed and succeeded and through careful research and hard-won experience has developed an idea-generation and implementation guide unavailable anywhere else.

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